Owners urged to clean up dog poo: new figures released

Cornwall Council is urging dog owners to bag and bin their dog poo as new figures reveal the extent of dog fouling in public places.

Latest figures show that from April-December 2018 a total of 429 reports of dog fouling were made to the Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service. That compares to 686 fouling service requests in 2017/18 and 872 reports in 2016/17.

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The area with the highest number of dog fouling complaints so far this financial year is Penzance with 20 calls from members of the public. Saltash had the second most reports at 17, while Tywardreath and Par saw 16 dog fouling complaints.

Since 2015 there have been a total of 2,610 dog fouling reports in Cornwall with Newquay recording the highest amount at 135 while Penzance had 123.

The Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service undertakes pro-active patrols of known fouling hot spots. Since 2015, more than 2,400 patrols have taken place, with 402 in April-December last year alone.

Anyone who does not pick up after their dogs faces a fine of up to £1,000 or can receive a fixed penalty of £100 in order to discharge the offence.

Find out more about the Council's work to combat dog fouling and view figures on dog fouling service requests by area

Cabinet portfolio holder for environment and public protection Sue James said: “Most dog owners act responsibly and clean up after their pets but unfortunately there are a minority who think it is okay to leave it to others to sort out.

“There are more than enough waste bins for dog owners to use and general waste bins can be used to dispose of bagged dog waste. If you’re in an area where there happens to be no bins, you should be taking waste home - there really is no excuse.”

Members of the public can report dog fouling incidences to the Council online 24/7. The Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service responds to and investigates complaints of dog fouling.

There are 30 officers with the Council’s Community Protection Team authorised to tackle fouling but there are a number of other officers including some who are not uniformed as well as police community support officers who can issue fixed penalties.

Since 2012 Cornwall Council has also provided DEFRA approved training to 80 town and parish council employees to enable and authorise them to issue dog fouling fixed penalty notices and help tackle the problem.

Cornwall Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer Kevin Brader said: “Our message is clear – pick up your dog poo or risk a fine. Your laziness is anti-social, is a blight to our environment and poses a health risk to the public especially children. 

“You can report dog fouling to the Council with information including the identity or description of the offender, their address or car registration number and the time of day that offence took place and this will help us to contact the offender directly.”

Councillor James issued a final word of warning: “Saying you didn’t see your dog foul is not a defence. It’s your responsibility as a dog owner to do the right thing – bag it and bin it or take it home with you.”